Boeing’s Albaugh: Production ramp shouldn’t trump worker safety

The Boeing Co. can’t sacrifice worker safety to meet its goals of increasing jet production, an executive told workers in Everett last week.

“Everybody wants to get airplanes out the door. It’s important that we do that, but I don’t want anybody to jeopardize their safety or the safety of their co-workers in order to do that,” said Jim Albaugh, president of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, as reported in Boeing’s internal newsletter.

Albaugh’s emphasis on worker safety comes after two incidents in which Boeing workers in Everett were hurt seriously.

In February, employee Josh Divers was crushed by a 787. Divers survived but had both his legs amputated below the knees.

Last month, Boeing worker Stan Sprague got trapped in a 747 wing flap. Sprague suffered lung damage and spent more than two weeks in the hospital.

Boeing is trying to meet customer demand by speeding up aircraft production both in Everett and at its Renton location.

“Safety has got to be a core value for us,” Albaugh said. “It’s something that we must focus on more than ever, especially as we go up in rate.

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